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anyone help run a small toddler group?

(11 Posts)
Tommy Thu 09-Oct-08 12:57:35

I'm in a bit of a quandry and sure that someone here must be able to advise! I have recently taken over the responsibility of running the small parent and toddler group at our church. It's open to everyone and we probably get between 5 and 12 mums every week.

The problem is that we have always taken collective reposonsibility for clearing away at the end of the session. There's not much to do - clearing the toys away, washing up the mugs etc.

However, there are 2 women who come (one is from the church and the other a colleague of hers)and they never volunteer to do any of the jobs and usually actively avoid them.

I have put a "sign up for a job" sheet on the door for when people arrive and asked politely but they only do things when specifically asked. This morning they left their mugs under their chairs until somone else reminded them to take them to the kitchen.

What can I do next? I don't want to come across as bossy as it really is a lovely group on the whole but I can't understand why these two don't muck in with the rest of us. The whole clearing process only takes about 5 minutes!

Any advice?

compo Thu 09-Oct-08 13:00:33

I don't think you can do any more than you are doing
One of the problems of volunteering to run something like this is that you do end up taking the flak
There is always someone who won't help out as much as others
Tbh if you are not happy washing their mugs maybe rethink volunteering in the 1st place?

Tommy Thu 09-Oct-08 13:14:38

I didn't volunteer compo!! It was sort of assumed that I would take over when the last woman left.

I don't have a problem with washing up mugs at all but what I don't think is fair is that they never do anything and everyone else does pull their weight. Other people have noticed and have started to gossip about these two women - I just don't want there to be a bad atmosphere

tassisssss Thu 09-Oct-08 13:19:47

could you do a duty rota? 2 of the groups I've been to do this. The 3rd was run by lovley church ladies who did it all for you which is, IMO, just what mums of toddlers need.

Do they maybe have to rush off for a reason?

reading between the lines, I'm thinking you're a "church mum" yourself? As a Christian, picking up after people is one of the things we do a lot of at church things as part of our service and I think doing it willingly can be a great witness to others. Sound like you're doing a great job!

Tommy Thu 09-Oct-08 13:33:39

thanks tassissssss smile

I go to another much bigger group which is run by a comittee and the older members of the Church come in and do coffee and stuff which is lovely.

Our little group is much more informal - more like just popping round for coffee with friends and there just happens to be lots of toys for the children! I don't really want it to be formal with rotas and things - I was just hoping people would all pull together (which mostly they do)

tassisssss Thu 09-Oct-08 13:42:38

hmmm, can i just say i'd be well irritated too (in case I came across all perfect!)

AccidentalMum Thu 09-Oct-08 14:02:43

We put out insulated jugs of boiling water, instant coffee, tea bags, milk, tray of mugs, spoons, etc in the hatch (all church halls have a hatch don't they?!) with a big sign asaying to wash up your own mug and replace it. We do have a rota for washing up now though the group is much busier, which is filled in for a few weeks in advance. TBH, if you are opening, sweeping, locking up, counting money, you don't wash up as well at ours.

Tommy Thu 09-Oct-08 14:14:28

that's what I thought accidentalmum! I get there early, open up and put the toys and chairs out, lead the singing (maybe should rope someone else in to do that!) and then make sure everything is cleared up at the end and lock up.

Hmm... will have a think about it all. Thanks very much for your input smile

Tas1 Thu 09-Oct-08 17:49:34

We had the same problem.

When our mums come in they pay 50p, this gets them a cup of tea/coffee, squash for the children and a biscuit for everyone. We give them a raffle ticket which they take up to the counter to redeam for their drinks. On the back of the ticket we write a job ie: stack chairs, wash cups etc and that is there job for that session.

We tell them as we hand out the tickets that this is their job for that session.

No one moaned and it works realy well.

Tommy Thu 09-Oct-08 19:17:18

I can see how that would work Tas1. Not sure it would be right for our little group though! I really like the informality of it and don't want to lose it

AccidentalMum Thu 09-Oct-08 19:46:39

Tas1, that is genius! Your group is inexpensive though hmm, here they are £1.50, which I think gives people the impression they have paid to sit on their arses.

OP...definitely get a singsong leader as that is the best time to sweep, wipe surfaces etc.

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